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A skerry is a small rocky
island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...

island
, or
islet An islet is a very small island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll ( ...

islet
, usually too small for human habitation. It may simply be a rocky
reef A reef is a ridge or shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...

reef
. A skerry can also be called a low
sea stack A stack or sea stack is a geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...
. A skerry may have vegetative life such as moss and small, hardy grasses. They are often used as resting places by animals such as
seals Seals may refer to: * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely and diverse of , -footed, , mostly s. They comprise the (whose only living member is the ), (the eared seals: s and s), and (the earless sea ...
and
birds Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

birds
.


Etymology

The term ''skerry'' is derived from the
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
''sker'', which means a rock in the sea (which in turn derives from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
root *''sker''-, "cut", in the sense of a rock cut off from the land). The Old Norse term ''sker'' was brought into the English language via the
Scots language Scots (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
word spelled skerrie or skerry. It is a
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
of the
Scandinavian language The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system ...
s' words for ''skerry'' –
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
, fo, sker, da, skær, sv, skär, no, skjær / skjer, found also in german: Schäre, fi, kari, et, skäär, lv, šēra, lt, Šcheras and russian: шхеры (shkhery). In
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
, it appears as ''sgeir'', e.g.
Sula Sgeir Sula Sgeir is a small, uninhabited Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, in
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
as ''sceir,'' in
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
as ''sgeri,'' and in
Manx Manx (; formerly sometimes spelled Manks) is an adjective (and derived noun) describing things or people related to the Isle of Man: * Manx people **Manx surnames * Isle of Man It may also refer to: Languages * Manx language, also known as Manx ...
as ''skeyr.''


Formation

Skerries are most commonly formed at the outlet of
fjord In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...

fjord
s where submerged glacially formed valleys at right angles to the coast join with other cross valleys in a complex array. In some places near the seaward margins of fjorded areas, the ice-scoured channels are so numerous and varied in direction that the rocky coast is divided into thousands of island blocks, some large and mountainous while others are merely rocky points or rock
reef A reef is a ridge or shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...

reef
s that menace navigation.


Examples

The island fringe of Norway is such a group of glacially formed skerries, called a ''skjærgård'' (which translates to archipelago); many of the cross fjords are so arranged that they parallel the coast and provide a protected channel behind an almost unbroken succession of rocky islands and skerries. By this channel one can travel through a protected passage almost the entire 1,600 km (1000 mile) route from
Stavanger Stavanger (, , American English, US usually , ) is a city and municipalities of Norway, municipality in Norway. It is the fourth largest city and third largest metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the ...

Stavanger
to North Cape, Norway. The
Blindleia Blindleia is an long inland waterway A body of water, such as a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becom ...
is a skerry-protected waterway that starts near
Kristiansand Kristiansand is a seaside resort city ski resort, Slovakia A resort town, often called a resort city or resort destination, is an urban area where tourism or vacationing is the primary component of the local culture and economy. A typi ...

Kristiansand
in southern
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, and continues past
Lillesand Lillesand () is municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision ...
. The
Inside Passage The Inside Passage (french: Passage Intérieur) is a coastal route for ships and boats along a network of passage Passage may refer to: Places * Passage West, a town in County Cork, Ireland * Passage: 19th century English name for Pasaia (''Pas ...

Inside Passage
provides a similar route from
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
,
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (metonym) ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on Washingt ...
to
Skagway The Municipality and Borough of Skagway is a first-class borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, althoug ...

Skagway
,
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
. Another such skerry-protected passage extends from the
Straits of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable A body of water, such as a river, canal or lake, is navigable if it is deep, wide and calm enough for a water vessel (e.g. boats) to pass safely. Such a navigable w ...
north for along the west coast of the South American continent. The
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...

Swedish
coast along
Bohuslän Bohuslän (; da, Bohuslen; no, Båhuslen) is a Provinces of Sweden, Swedish province in Götaland, on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak ...

Bohuslän
is likewise guarded by skerries. Even the east coast of Sweden, in the Baltic Sea, has many big skärgårdar (archipelagos), notably
Stockholm archipelago The Stockholm Archipelago ( sv, Stockholms skärgård) is the largest archipelago in Sweden, and the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea (Archipelago Sea, the largest being across the Baltic in Finland). Part of the archipelago has be ...

Stockholm archipelago
- ''Stockholms skärgård''. The southwestern coast of
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
also has a great many skerries; so many, in fact, that they form an
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as ...

archipelago
. This area is experiencing
post-glacial rebound Post-glacial rebound (also called isostatic rebound or crustal rebound) is the rise of land masses after the removal of the huge weight of ice sheet In , an ice sheet, also known as a continental glacier, is a mass of that covers surroundi ...
that connects the rising islands as they break sea level, revealing till deposits and eventually clay bottoms. The skerries exist as small rocky islands before uplift of adjacent terrain changes the classification of this landform into a
tombolo A tombolo is a sandy isthmus. A tombolo, from the Italian ''tombolo'', meaning 'pillow' or 'cushion', and sometimes translated as '' ayre'', is a deposition landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the E ...
. In the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
, the best examples are the Minina Skerries, located in the
Kara Sea The Kara Sea (russian: Ка́рское мо́ре, ''Karskoye more'') is part of the Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as t ...
, in the western shores of the
Taymyr Peninsula The Taymyr Peninsula (russian: Полуостров Таймыр, Таймырский полуостров, italic=no) is a peninsula in the Far North (Russia), Far North of Russia, in the Siberian Federal District, that forms the northernmost part ...
, and the
Sumsky SkerriesImage:Kondostrov church.jpg, 250px, Church on Kondostrov Island, Sumsky Skerries The Sumsky Skerries (russian: Сумские шхеры, Sumskiye Shkhery) are an extensive cluster of islands, islets and shoals in the White Sea. They are located in t ...
(Sumskiye Shkhery) , located in the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of ...
. The United Kingdom has a large number of skerries including
Staple Island Staple Island is a small rocky island, or skerry A skerry is a small rocky island, or islet, usually too small for human habitation. It may simply be a rocky reef. A skerry can also be called a low stack (geology), sea stack. A skerry may ha ...

Staple Island
(an Outer
Farne Island
Farne Island
) in England; a small rocky outcrop near the Fowlsheugh in northeast Scotland; numerous reefs in the
Hebrides The Hebrides (; gd, Innse Gall, ; non, Suðreyjar, "southern isles") are a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language ...
such as
Dubh Artach Dub mac Maíl Coluim ( Modern Gaelic: ''Dubh mac Mhaoil Chaluim'', ), sometimes anglicised as Duff MacMalcolm, called Dén, "the Vehement" and, "the Black" (born c. 928 - died 967) was king of Alba. He was son of Malcolm I and succeeded to the th ...

Dubh Artach
and
Skerryvore Skerryvore (from the Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic ''An Sgeir Mhòr'' meaning "The Great Skerry") is a remote island that lies off the west coast of Scotland, south-west of the island of Tiree. Skerryvore Lighthouse is located on these rocks, built ...

Skerryvore
; and The Skerries, located off the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. Skerries is the name of a coastal area of
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, Ireland, with many skerries offshore, including
Rockabill Rockabill () is a group of two islands, "The Rock" and "The Bill", lying in the western Irish Sea about 6 kilometres east-north-east of Skerries, Dublin, Skerries, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. An alternative Irish name, ''Car ...
, Shenick Island,
Colt Island Colt Island () is the closest and smallest of three low-lying, uninhabited islands off the headland of Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Toponymy The origin of the original, Irish Language, Irish, name is unknown ...
and
St Patrick's Island St Patrick's Island () is the most distant of three low-lying uninhabited islets off the headland of Skerries, Dublin, Skerries, County Dublin in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is an island of low cliffs and lies about 1.5 km from the mainl ...
. The most southerly skerries are perhaps the Skrap Skerries off
South Georgia South Georgia ( es, Isla San Pedro, pt, Ilha São Pedro / Geórgia do Sul) is an island in the southern Atlantic Ocean that is part of the British Overseas Territory The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom O ...

South Georgia
.


See also

*
Stack (geology) A stack or sea stack is a geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it ...


References


External links

* {{Authority control Scots language Scottish coast Islands by type